Studying journalism in a dynamic environment: Interview with student Lisa Frising

Studying journalism in a dynamic and diverse city like Berlin: For Lisa Frising, student of M.A. Convergent Journalism (from WS 2020: M.A. Digital Journalism, editor's note), there is currently hardly anything more enriching. In the interview she reveals why she decided to study at Media University Berlin, which courses she is particularly interested in and why she wants to live and work in Berlin in the near future.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at Media University?

First of all, I think about all the practical experience I learned during my 2 year Master degree. I met and became friends with some incredible people from around the globe. Especially in the field of journalism, it is crucial to learn and grasp from different backgrounds in order to understand the world as it is today.

Why did you decide to study “M.A. Convergent Journalism”? And what made you choose Media University Berlin?

I decided to study M.A. Convergent Journalism as I already finished my BA degree in communication studies and anthropology. After a lot of theoretical background, I wanted to deepen my journalistic knowledge in a more practical way. After an exchange year in London, it was pretty clear for me that I wanted to stay in Berlin and try out a smaller university. I chose Media University Berlin as it seemed to offer lots of diverse and cross-medial seminars.

Did you get any work experiences prior to your master studies that you would like to share with us?

Throughout my Bachelor degree, I used the semester break and summer holidays as a welcoming time to develop and discover my future career path. As I am originally from Luxembourg, I worked in various fields of journalism back home, for example at our national newspaper and for the radio. Back in Berlin, I worked as a trainee at Deutsche Welle but sadly, Corona shortened my internship.

Which seminar/project did you like the most so far?

My two favorite seminars were definitely Business/Politics with Prof. Dr. Markus Ziener and Narrativity/Dramaturgy. Business/Politics helped me a lot to better understand international socio-political contexts. Moreover, as I‘m very into film, I liked every second of being my own producer/camerawoman in Dramaturgy class. We participated in several media conventions (for example the Internet Governance Forum 2019 in Berlin, editor's note) in order to gain hands-on camera experience and work in the field with real clients.

What is it like to be part of the workshop Talent Campus_Video? What do you like most about it?

I was very honored to be part of this workshop. My passion for film was shaped when I was much younger while reenacting Tony Hawk skateboard videos or trashy tv shows with my cousins. I always loved to play around with my old VHS camera, try out different angles and tell my own story through visuals. Of course, my favorite part about this video workshop was the freedom we were given to address topics of our own choice and create individual projects. In the end, we created our own tv show, which was super fun.


How are you experiencing life in Berlin? Was it easy for you to settle in? Do you want to stay?

To be honest, I can’t imagine a better German city to live in. Berlin has a very unique heartbeat. When I first moved to the German capital, I was overwhelmed. There’s so much going on. I’ve never lived in such a racially and religiously diverse place before that tells tales of historical adventures on every corner of the city. Every type of person you can possibly think of lives here. You can dress and look however you want and still there’s a large feeling of acceptance for people that want to be different. What confused me at first is what eventually made me fall in love with the city, though. Berlin is progressive, open-minded, diverse and budget-friendly. As I am originally from Luxembourg, a very tiny country where the last bus gets you home around 8pm, I definitely want to stay.

What are your plans for the future? Do you want to become a full-time journalist?

Ideally, I would love to work as a film producer in the near future. I’m not aiming to become the next Spielberg or Tarantino in order to get my own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, but dreams might become true when you work hard enough for them. My dream job would be to become part of a small production company, somewhere in the world, that produces its own documentaries – visualizing problems or inequalities through the lense of a camera. My second option would be to work as a video journalist for some smaller news agencies.

What’s your advice for students who decide to come to Germany/to Media University to study?

Once you’ve decided to study in Germany, it’s a good idea to prepare for this experience in small steps. Be proactive: You only learn by trying things, even if that means making mistakes. Maybe check out websites such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Goethe-Institut and your university’s student service for general information before your arrival. Don't freak out when it comes to finding a place to stay. The housing market is extremely saturated at the moment, so don’t lose hope after your 20th flat viewing. Last but not least: try and learn some German. Of course the language is tricky and especially in Berlin you don’t really need German to survive but believe me, some bits of German will simplify your daily life amongst grumpy locals..

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „M.A. Convergent Journalism“?

In my opinion, there are core qualities every “good” journalist should possess, such as: integrity, critical thinking, accuracy, fairness, ethical standards, objectivity and a hunger for news. For this specific Master degree, I think it is essential to bring good writing skills, curiosity, reliability to work in teams, courage to approach people or topics and of course solid communication skills. As a new applicant you should definitely be open-minded, inquisitive, keen to debate and curious. Oh, and don’t forget to stay true to yourself, that helps a lot too.

Thanks for the interview and all the best for the future!